Salt Tectonics

Rock salt, or halite has a number of interesting properties:

Selected Viscosities
Material Viscosity (Pa s)
Air 10-5
Water 10-3
Olive oil 10-1
Basalt magma  101 to 103
Andesite magma 103 to 105
Rhyolite magma 105 to 109
Rock salt 1017
Peridotite (upper mantle) 1020
Granite 1024

image from wikipedia


Salt forms early in the Wilson cycle during initial rifting at low latitudes.   The restricted ocean can have significant evaporation, such as the current Red Sea, and thick salt beds can form.  Later, when buried by thick sediments such as in the Gulf of Mexico, the weak salt can mobilize to form diapirs, domes, and other structures.


Last revision 11/15/2016